I have previously written about this, but feel it’s worthy of another mention.  Microsoft have hidden away on their WHDC (Windows Hardware Developer Central) website, an excellent document on Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 R2.  It is worthy of a read as it details lots of changes in functionality that can affect performance.

The paper was last updated on the May 16th 2011 and details:

Choosing and Tuning Server Hardware
Performance Tuning for the Networking Subsystem
Performance Tuning for the Storage Subsystem
Performance Tuning for Web Servers
Performance Tuning for File Servers
Performance Tuning for Active Directory Servers
Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Session Host (formerly Terminal Server)Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Gateway
Performance Tuning for Virtualization Servers
Performance Tuning for File Server Workload (NetBench)
Performance Tuning for File Server Workload (SPECsfs2008)
Performance Tuning for Network Workload (NTttcp)
Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Services Knowledge Worker Workload
Performance Tuning for SAP Sales and Distribution Two-Tier Workload
Performance Tuning for TCP-E Workload

October 2012 Update: 

Updated Server Core Installation Option, Correct Memory Sizing for Child Partitions, and Correct Memory Sizing for Root Partition.

September 2012 Update:

Further updates to the Performance Tuning guidance for the TPC-E Workload section

May 2011 Update:

“Performance Tuning for Web Servers” – Updated guidance to reflect that Http.sys manages connections automatically.

“Performance Tuning for File Servers” – Fixed typos in NFS Server tuning parameter registry keys.

“Performance Tuning for Virtualization Servers” – Added information about Dynamic Memory tuning.

“Performance Tuning for TPC-E Workload” – Clarified tuning guidance.

“Resources” – Updated references.

October 15th Update:

Throughout the paper – Clarified some explanations; clarified energy consumption vs. power consumption.

“Interrupt Affinity” – Added recommendation to use device-specific mechanism for binding interrupts, if supported by the driver model.

“Network-Related Performance Counters” – Added IPv6 and TCPv6.

“Performance Tuning for the Storage Subsystem” – Various minor updates throughout.

“Performance Tuning for File Servers” –Added guidance for NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate; added “Tuning Parameters for NFS Server”, “File Server Tuning Example”, and “File Client Tuning Example”.

“Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Session Host” – Added references to two new white papers on capacity planning.

“Monitoring and Data Collection” (multiple sections) – Updated the list of counters to monitor.

“Performance Tuning for File Server Workload (SPECsfs2008)” – New section.

“Performance Tuning for SAP Sales and Distribution Two-Tier Workload” – Substantial updates to the whole section.

“Performance Tuning for TPC-E Workload” – New section.

“Resources” – A few additions and updates.

If you are the an IT professional who is looking for information on how to plan, implement and maintain Microsoft Office 2010 installations then this publication will help. 

Microsoft have made available this download which provides how-to information on the recommended steps to execute specific deployment tasks, such as customising the installation; installing the Microsoft Office 2010 system on users’ computers; implementing the deployment in multiple languages and migrating to the new file format.


Microsoft have made available an Exchange 2010 offline helpfile (CHM format), it makes interesting reading, discussing the steps that must be taken in a migration or transition project to Exchange 2010 from either Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007. 



Note: The download file is a self extracting ZIP file, if after extracting the CHM file, you cannot read the content then:

Right Click on the Exch2010Help.chm file

Select Properties


Select Unblock

This will enable the file to be read.

The Microsoft Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides are a series of documents that used to be known as the Windows Server System Reference Architecture.   The IPD guides help clarify and streamline design processes for Microsoft infrastructure technologies, each guide addresses a specific infrastructure technology or scenario. All IPD guides share a common structure:

1. Definition of the technical decision flow through the planning process.
2. Listing of decisions to be made and the commonly available options and considerations.
3. Relating the decisions and options to the business in terms of cost, complexity, and other characteristics.
4. Framing decisions in terms of additional questions to the business to ensure a comprehensive alignment with the appropriate business landscape.

In the latest release of the IPD guides, many technology stacks have been updated for Windows Server 2008 R2.

New! Dynamic Data Center

Active Directory Domain Services – guide version 2.0 updated for Windows Server 2008 R2
File Services – guide version 2.0 includes Windows Server 2008 R2
Print Services – guide version 2.0 includes Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Deployment Services – guide version 2.0 updated for Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server Virtualization (for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1) – guide version 2.0 updated for Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services – in Windows Server 2008 R2 Terminal Services becomes Remote Desktop Services

System Center Operations Manager 2007 – guide version 2.0 updated for System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 – guide version 2.0 updated for SCVMM 2008 R2
Internet Information Services – guide version 2.0 includes IIS 7.5
Exchange Online—Evaluating Software-plus-Services – guide version 1.4
SharePoint Online—Evaluating Software-plus-Services – guide version 1.1
Selecting the Right Virtualization Technology – guide version 2.0
DirectAccess – guide version 1.2
Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios – guide version 1.1

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V)
Selecting the Right NAP Architecture
Forefront Unified Access Gateway
Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.6
SQL Server 2008
System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 with R2
System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 with SP1
Terminal Services

Download them from here.

Early last month I noticed that Microsoft had published their Common Engineering Criteria Program for Microsoft Server Products and yesterday via Twitter I saw that the Microsoft Common Engineering Criteria (CEC) website had relaunched, the common engineering criteria “establishes a set of engineering requirements across all Microsoft server products,  the aim of the CEC program is to reduce the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) through improved integration, manageability, security, reliability, and other critical infrastructure attributes.”  It makes an interesting read and may help to explain why Microsoft do certain things the way they do.

This recent whitepaper from Microsoft discusses having large mailboxes without breaking your budget and keeping e-mail on the Exchange Server instead of allowing it to be scattered in Outlook Data Files (.PST files). By centrally storing email on the Exchange server it  helps reduce the risk of data loss; improves regulatory compliance and increase productivity among both workers and IT staff.

It made some quite interesting reading and provides “food for thought


Microsoft have two excellent but slightly hidden documents on performance tuning for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. These documents collate information on the major components of Windows Server that can impact performance. They are well worth a read – even if it’s just to refresh your mind on what RAID 6 is or how big your pagefile should be.

Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008

Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 R2